OP Sequence

OP: 「ダウンタイマー」 (Dauntaimaa) by Ret Bear

「Once Upon a Time in Nagasaki」

With a new season of anime kicking into high gear, what better way to enjoy the festivities than with some Urobutcher goodness? That’s right, Urobuchi Gen returns for yet another crack at the anime original game, and while it’s safe to say his best days are probably behind him, never say never. With Revenger we might just get a return to form.

Per the RC Preview, Revenger is basically a fantasized period samurai piece. Taking place in the early 1800s right before the Opium Wars we’re already inundated with bloody murders (very bloody indeed), shady dealings, and plenty of upholding honour codes central to the samurai way of life. MC Kurima Raizo (Kasama Jun) is case in point, a samurai by trade for the Satsuma clan who by clan order was compelled to slaughter his father-in-law over his father-in-law’s purported opium dealings. Except it was the clan member ordering the execution who was dealing with the white stuff and setting Raizo up as a suitable sacrifice. Yeah, easy to guess where things head from here, particularly after Raizo winds up securing revenge for deeds he was wrongly made to commit. In these stories tragedy is never far.

The main mystery of Revenger, however, isn’t so much Raizo and Satsuma as much as the other half of the MC coin in Usui Yuuen (Umehara Yuuichirou) and his fixer organization. Outside of a fujo-esque appearance and a love of lacquered ceramics (which does admittedly serve a humorous combat function) we don’t yet know much about the guy and his friends except that they’re investigators of a sort, picked up Raizo because of his situational usefulness, and are linked in some capacity to the Catholic church. After all, not hard seeing the links when you’re rocking the Virgin Mary on your backside and discussing the local chapel. There’s more than meets the eye to the group Raizo now finds himself with, ensuring a good chunk of Revenger’s mystery will be both finding out who Yuuen is and just what his organization is meant to be watching out for. And given how this episode wasn’t afraid of shying away from violence (or the potential trap teasing – don’t deny, you know local kite strangler Nio is setting off alarms), I dare say the journey to such discoveries will be very entertaining indeed.

Overall while an episode more a taste than a proper introduction, Revenger has established a setting, cast of characters, and story worthy of a bit of attention. It may not be the most unique of anime, it may not even live up to the potential down the line, but it’s certainly one show I’m interested in seeing what it gets up to next.


ED Sequence

ED: 「un_mute」by Maaya Sakamoto



  1. This one would leave me a bit cold had it not been for the setting. Did it actually say it was early 1800’s? I’ve deleted it now so I can’t check, but it seemed more like mid-1800’s to me.

    Anyway, the fascinating thing for me is the interpretation of Chrisitianity, including the huge cathedral(?) that looks like it sits where Dejima might have been and the irezumi of Mary. Are these elements just there to make things seem more exotic (à la Evangelion, for instance), or is there more to it than that? Certainly worth a few more episodes to see how it goes.

    1. There’s no hard date, but I put early 1800s because it doesn’t seem like the First Opium War has happened yet and that war didn’t hit until the 1840s. Early seems appropriate as a label until (or if) we learn more.

      As for the Christianity angle I expect it to have more plot relevance than Evangelion. It’s already too egrious to leave as metaphors or flavour and easily plays into the persecution the Tokugawa shogunate unleashed against the local Catholic orders at the time. Plus Urobuchi has always been one to wed philosophy/theology with his ultraviolence so there’s a very good chance the teasing here results in something central to the plot.

    1. Oh yeah, the early Tokugawa saw a not insignificant wave of Catholic conversions following the arrival of Portuguese missionaries in the 1600s. This was eventually stopped (quite brutally at that) later on, but especially in Kyushu there was an established Christian presence. It makes the use of it in this story interesting giving its centrality to the plot.

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